Today, I had the great pleasure to interview Courtney “Court” Young for the Indie Block Party. She is the author of The Sophisticated.
What books have influenced your life the most?
Hands down, the Harry Potter series. I don’t think reading really changed or impacted my life until I delved into those books. JK wrote directly to my generation and created characters that were so compelling I wanted to be friends with them. Since that series, I haven’t quite been the same. Only if magic were real, the good guy always won, and everyone lived happily ever after!
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Dawna Raver. She wrote Colour Wielders (which will re-release on August 21st). Dawna is one of those authors who would do absolutely anything for me. She’s been the best critique partner a gal could wish for, and goes out of her way to promote other authors. She’s been there and done that, so I know that if I have any questions, she most likely knows the answer. She also keeps me in check on a regular basis!
What 3 words describe the author you want to be?
Inspiring, creative, and fun. It seems to make the reader experience more enjoyable when authors are a combination of those things.
If you could be any character from any book, who would you be?
Hermoine Granger (do you see a pattern here? :grins:) She has her flaws, saves the day on occasion, and genuinely cares for other people (and house elfs!). Did I mention, she is kick ass at performing magic? That’s a requirement!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I finished my third draft of After the Woods (yes, third) and ended with about 85k words. Although the story will never be published, I knew then that I was a real writer. I did have the Pinocchio experience (I’m a real writer!) after I edited for months, and let the story be all encapsulating. I knew that either I was mental or a writer. I chose the writer title!
Do you have a specific writing style?
If one could consider being a neo-panster a writing style, then yes! I will get crazy story ideas on the whim and have to hurry and type them in my phone. I say neo because after the initial sparks fly, I will write a basic plot. I don’t track what happens in every single chapter, but more of an overall plot. I don’t completely write by the seat of my pants anymore. Having some direction is necessary for me. I learned that the hard way.
What’s the BEST writing advice you ever received?
Giving up isn’t an option. To be better, it takes hours and countless chapters (or novels) of practice.
Any writing advice you’d like to give to others?
Write and most importantly let people read it. I know it sounds so cliché’ and everyone always says to “write”, but honestly one cannot hone their skills unless they get out there and do it. It’s amazing how much a person can learn by trial and error, researching, and reading others works. When I first started this amazing literary journey, I had no clue what I was doing. I say let people read it because you may think your writing is the best thing since cadberry eggs, but everyone thinks their baby is cute. Choose someone that has a critical eye, will tell you the TRUTH about what is working and what isn’t. My critique partner (Dawna Raver) has brought my writing to a level I don’t think I could have achieved alone. Don’t be a closet writer! Letting people read your stories can be scary and you may not always like what they have to say, but in the end, it’s totally worth it.
Do you have a regular writing routine?
I wish I did! I have a full time day job (where I crunch numbers and fight spreadsheets), and I work part time for an indie publisher, and also help self-published authors market their works at Black Firefly. When I’m not busy helping everyone else, I write! I try to get in 5k words a week. Sometimes it’s wayyy more, sometimes it’s wayyy less. 🙂
She can be followed here: